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Monday, April 9, 2012

Sissy Bar Snapped

Just when I thought the Sporty was good to go for 2012, my two-year old homemade sissy bar snapped on the left side on Thursday.  It happened right where it bends.  I made the sissy bar out of 3/8" steel rod and it vibrated a lot so it was only a matter of time.  I'm actually impressed it lasted 2 years.

I rode to work that day because I was heading straight to First Thursday at Dulono's that evening and noticed it when I got there.  I rigged it by bending some picture hanging hardware I bought to act as splints, wrapped them in some wire, and wrapped it all in black duct tape.  It wasn't pretty but it held for the day and I didn't miss First Thursday.

The question now is what to do.  I'm not going to repair the sissy bar because, after two years, the right side is liable to break too. I can't run without it since it holds my license plate and brake/turn signals.  I'm not really happy with the 11" shocks I just bought (very rough ride) but I don't like how high the fender sits above the tire with the old Road King shocks.

So here's the plan...
  • Cut and mount a new fender to the swingarm
    • This allows the fender to be mounted very close to the tire
    • This creates a gap between the fender and seat but I am optimistic it will be look better than having a big gap between the fender and tire
  • Paint the new fender to match the tank
  • Put the Road King shocks back on
  • Make a cover for the area under the back of the seat that will now be exposed
  • Decide whether to make a new sissy bar or just make a fender brace
  • Figure out what to do about the brake/turn signals and license plate
  • Likely chop more of the rear fender struts off
  • While I have everything apart anyway, fix a few more things:
    • Touch up gas tank paint around filler hole and add more clearcoat so I can buff it properly
    • Re-wrap the rear header pipe (since it's torn) and repaint the wrap on both headers
    • Replace fuel line with red translucent line I bought

Prior to the sissy bar snapping, I just ordered a brand new 40-spoke rear wheel and a fresh set of Avon tires so I will need to ensure whatever I do works with the new rear wheel & tire setup.

Here's the bike with the sissy bar, rear fender, and brake/turn signals all removed and the Road King shocks reinstalled.  No, I'm not going to leave it this way even though it does look badass.

It looks like I'll be very busy in the garage over the next few weeks.

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